D-Day, 70 years later: ‘Look up’! |

D-Day, 70 years later: ‘Look up’!

Under a grim gray sky, 156,000 Allied troops met the Nazi war machine head-on along a 50-mile stretch of Normandy coast 70 years ago today.

We commemorate D-Day, June 6, 1944, comforted in knowing the outcome of this massive, brutal battle that turned the tide in the war and relegated to history Adolf Hitler’s mad dream of a 1,000-year Reich. But the Allied forces on that day had no similar assurance. They couldn’t have predicted the outcome. They knew only what they had to do.

It’s unimaginable to the civilian mind what these brave troops endured in the cross hairs of 105,000 German soldiers dug in above the beaches in machine gun nests. Casualties among the Allies totaled more than 10,300 (to Germany’s estimated 4,000-9,000).

By June 11, the beachheads were secured, clearing the way for more than 300,000 Allied troops and 100,000 tons of military equipment. By Aug. 25, the Allies liberated Paris. In May 1945, the fascist forces that swept Europe were finished.

Remarkable endurance and human spirit won the day on Omaha Beach along with something else. President Reagan referred to it in a D-Day speech on June 6, 1984: “And so, the night before the invasion, when Col. (Robert Lee) Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we’re about to do.”

Then as now, America must always look up. And never for a moment bow.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.